- Here and now – Thinking … I’ll get back to you on it. – (none)
- Trumpcare Collapsed Because Republicans Cannot Govern – Republican ideology doesn't admit support for health care. It's not conservatism. It's Republicanism.
> In truth, it was never possible to reconcile public standards for a humane health-care system with conservative ideology. In a pure market system, access to medical care will be unaffordable for a huge share of the public. Giving them access to quality care means mobilizing government power to redistribute resources, either through direct tax and transfers or through regulations that raise costs for the healthy and lower them for the sick. Obamacare uses both methods, and both are utterly repugnant and unacceptable to movement conservatives. That commitment to abstract anti-government dogma, without any concern for the practical impact, is the quality that makes the Republican Party unlike right-of-center governing parties in any other democracy. In no other country would a conservative party develop a plan for health care that every major industry stakeholder calls completely unworkable.
> The power to destroy remains within the Republican Party’s capacity. The power to translate its ideological principles into practical government is utterly beyond its reach. – (ideology rhetoric politics )
- Defense of Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop offers case study on how to sell snake oil | Ars Technica – A catalogue of some of the rhetorical moves on Goop. – (ecommerce erhetoric snakeoil persuasion )
- David Bromwich · The Age of Detesting Trump · LRB 13 July 2017 – > President Trump, monster and scapegoat, is too rash in his overall demeanour, too uncalibrated in his words and gestures, too ill-adapted to the routines of politics to carry credit even when he is speaking common sense. – (none)
- Trump is ushering in a dark new conservatism – The real nostalgia is for the 1930s, not the 50s. – (politics trump )
- Full Text, Analysis: Donald Trump Jr. Emails On Meeting With Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya : NPR – Annotation is the new broadcast. – (politics discourse trump )
- “I’ve Made You Believe There Is a Point” | ACADEME BLOG – TED Talks. Simply boring? Or simply boring platform for bogus Thought Leaders, self-promotion, and wasted lives? – (none)
Bolter and Grusin (Remediation) see new media remediating old until the new media becomes established as a media and media-specific affordances become available. Benjamin sees remediation in new materials. When iron, for instance, was introduced in sculpture it took on forms from wood. Benjamin sees this as a failure to see the new in the old and evidence that these introductions of the new aren’t part of the emancipation from capitalism.
This way of understanding is going two ways: 1) towards a sense that what are declared as new and emancipatory (iron and glass, the automobile, Twitter, blogging … ) are not new; they are too much informed by the capitalist superstructure that still controls false consciousness; and 2), in the other direction, that these new media could be seen as emancipatory if that false consciousness is thrown off.
In contemporary terms, innovation is not going to disrupt the capitalist imaginary which forces an understanding of innovation within its limited and limiting framework. Disruption as it appears at TedTalks, in incubators, in administrative talk is not disruptive of the status quo. Disruption becomes one of the myths we use to imagine what might become but cannot become until the capitalist imaginary itself is disrupted.
Here’s Buck-Morss on Benjamin:
[T]he restorative impulse [is] more evident … in the forms taken by the new technologies themselves, which imitated precisely the old forms they were destined to overcome ….
Under the archaic masks of classical myth … and traditional nature …, the inherent potential of the “new nature”—machines, iron shaped by new processes, technologies and industrial materials of every sort— remained unrecognized, unconscious. At the same time, these masks express the desire to “return” to a mythic time when human beings were reconciled with the natural world.
… According to Benjamin, if the “not-yet” of the new nature is expressed in archaic symbols rather than in new forms commensurate with it, then this condition of modem consciousness has its parallel in the inadequacies of development in the economic base. He is most explicit in a passage from the Passagen-Werk exposé. It begins with a quotation from Jules Michelet: “Every’ epoch dreams the one that follows it.” Benjamin comments:
> To the form of the new means of production which in the beginning is still dominated by the old one (Marx), there correspond in the collective consciousness images in which the new is intermingled with the old. These images are wish images, and in them the collective attempts to transcend as well as to illumine the in completed ness of the social order of production. There also emerges in these wish images a positive striving to set themselves off from the outdated— that means, however, the most recent past. These tendencies turn the image fantasy, that maintains its impulse from the new, back to the ur-past. In the dream in which every epoch sees in images the epoch that follows, the latter appears wedded to elements of ur-history, that is, of a classless society. Its experiences, which have their storage place in the unconscious of the collective, produce, in their interpenetration with the new, the utopia that has left its trace behind in a thousand configurations of life from permanent buildings to ephemeral fashions.27
The real possibility of a classless society in the “epoch to follow” the present one, revitalizes past images as expressions of the ancient wish for social utopia in dream form. But a dream image is not yet a dialectical image, and desire is not yet knowledge…. Benjamin was reluctant to rest revolutionary hope directly on imagination’s capacity to anticipate the not-yet-existing. Even as wish image, utopian imagination needed to be interpreted through the material objects in which it found expression, for (as Bloch knew) it was upon the transforming mediation of matter that the hope of utopia ultimately depended: technology’s capacity to create the not-yet-known.
Technology, not yet “emancipated,” is held back by conventional imagination that sees the new only as a continuation of the old which has just now become obsolete. 115-6
In The Arcades Project, from Buck-Morss, Dialectics of Seeing, p 111-115.
The implications for social media and new media: We’re not there yet. Social media is still remediating the ideologies of mass communication; they are still informing and forming the rhetoric of the new, and are insidious in the techniques of persuasion.
But it can be turned. The phenomena of the digital – the internet, the web, social media, digital phones – can be used as dialectic images of critique in the way Benjamin uses the arcades, flaneurs, prositutes and gambling, iron and steel construction, and fashion to investigate early 20th century Europe. An Arcades Project of the 21st century is being written. Our arcade is the internet, populated trolls, a place for gambling and fashion, architected by packet switching, UX, housing texting, selfies, sur- and suivellance … Our themes are the same as Benjamin’s: false consciousness, repetition, delay, porn … and a few new ones: simulacra, psychogeography, networks, image, mobility, identity, quantification …
From Society of the Spectacle
Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.
The spectacle is not a collection of images; it is a social relation between people that is mediated by images. …
The spectacle is the ruling order’s nonstop discourse about itself, its never-ending monologue of self-praise, its self-portrait at the stage of totalitarian domination of all aspects of life.
Trump’s clandestine business discourse is out of place on the social stage of politics. The result is that it unmasks both discourses as spectacle. It calls attention to the construction of the spectacular. Trump’s attempts to create change are shown everyday to be attempts to control message. In the spectacle, changing message is changing reality. It’s all that’s needed for a win.
The spectacle trickles down. Trump’s daily unmasking of the national administrative political spectacle also unmasks the discourse of other administrative contexts and calls them into his crisis of credibility. So that, locally, university administrators lose their agency as Trump reveals that their actions are attempts to shape the message rather than administrate real change. Declare a win, and you’ve won, but only because “Everything that was directly lived has receded into a representation.”
- Trump’s dangerous thirst for a clash of civilizations – The Washington Post – Trump the Colonialist. It suits you, sir. – (politics colonolialism trump )
- Noam Chomsky: On Trump and the State of the Union – The New York Times – > ridicule is not enough. It’s necessary to address the concerns and beliefs of those who are taken in by the fraud, or who don’t recognize the nature and significance of the issues for other reasons. If by philosophy we mean reasoned and thoughtful analysis, then it can address the moment, though not by confronting the “alternative facts” but by analyzing and clarifying what is at stake, whatever the issue is. Beyond that, what is needed is action: urgent and dedicated, in the many ways that are open to us. – (trump politics philosophy_as_action )
- [toread] Amy Collier – Exploring Digital Sanctuary – OFFICE OF DIGITAL LEARNING – – (none)
- Trump 2020 Is No Joke – NYTimes.com – > Trumpism is a form of collective gaslighting at Twitter speed. It is founded on the principle that velocity trumps veracity.
> All of this is serious. But it’s not as serious as the seeping, constant attempt — one sacred value at a time — to disorient Americans to the point they accept the unacceptable, cede to the grotesque, acquiesce to total arbitrariness as a governing principle. On one side the Constitution; on the other the rabbit hole that leads to the Trump International Hotel. – (politics rhetoric trump )
- Forget Julius Caesar – Trump is more like Richard III, Shakespeare’s satanic joker | US news | The Guardian – > Sponsorship, a British director once told me, is implicit censorship. … . A spokesperson for one of the sponsors said the portrayal of Caesar was clearly designed “to provoke and offend”, which some of us thought was one of theatre’s basic functions.
Why else would business put money behind art? Or a brand on a hockey rink? Or their name on an endowed chair? – (politics )
- In Trump’s America, a thick-headed man’s incredibly thin skin is threatening free speech | Opinion | The Guardian – Thick head, thin skin is no reason. But the point is that censorship is here. Political correctness now comes from the right.
> That large corporations are punishing creative expression because it is critical of Trump is worrying. Even more worrying, however, is the insidious but understandable creep of self-censorship among everyday Americans. This week provides yet another example that, when it comes to Trump, exercising your right to free speech – that dearest of American values – can prove an expensive endeavour. – (polemic politics censorship trump )
Hodge asks us to look to semiosis to understand and act in the politically over-charged moment.
McCarthyism was constituted in texts and in explosive discursive, semiosic processes that carried the effects very far, very quickly…. Semiosic contexts inﬂect meanings and are themselves meanings. McCarthy’s strategy included waving a list in the Senate which he claimed contained 205 names of proven commu- nists in public ofﬁce, which he would not reveal. Waving the list was a multimodal signiﬁer supporting his spoken words. This semiosic situation contains multiple splits. McCarthy’s speech is a surface text split from its real meaning, supposedly known to the speaker but not the audience. The speaker demands absolute trust from his hearers at the same time as he excludes them. We do not need a theory of schizophrenia to see this as a way to provoke paranoia.
Hodge, Social Semiotics for a Complex World. 91.
Description of German arcades, 1927. in Buck, Dialectic of Seeing
I cannot enter it without a damp chill coming over me, without the fear that I might never find an exit. I am hardly past the shoeshine and news paper stands under the lofty arches of the entrance, and I feel a mild confusion. A window promises me dancing daily and that Meyer without whom no party would be complete. But where is the entrance? Next to the ladies’ hairdresser there is another display: stamps and those curiously named tools of the collector: adhesive pockets with guaranteed acid-free rubber, a perforation gauge made of celluloid. “Be sensible! Wear wool!” demands the next window of me [. .. ] . I [ . . . ] almost stumbled over the peep shows, where one poor schoolboy stands, his school bag under his arm, wretched, immersed in the “scene in the Bedroom.” [. . .] I linger over [. . . ] Knipp-Knapp cufflinks, which are certainly the best, and over the Diana air rifles, truly an honor to the goddess of the hunt. I shrink back before grinning skulls, the fierce liqueur glasses of a white bone cocktail set. The clowning face of a jockey, a handmade wooden nutcracker graces the end of the musical toilet paper holder [. . . ]. The whole center of the arcade is empty. I rush quickly to the exit; I feel ghostly, hidden crowds of people from days gone by, who hug the walls with lustful glances at the tawdry jewelry, the clothing, the pictures [. . .]. At the exit, at the windows of the great travel agency, I breathe more easily; the street, freedom, the present!
- Pigeons and Personalization: The Histories of “Personalized Learning” – Take your pick, says Audrey. Show your politics.
> But “personalization” is not simply how we cope with our desire for individuality in an age of mass production, of course. It’s increasingly how we’re sold things. It’s how we are profiled, how we are segmented, how we are advertised to. – (education globalcapitalism )
- Donald Trump Poisons the World – With toxic positioning – Trump's "cleareyed outlook that the world is not a ‘global community’ but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage" makes the global community a global hallucination. Asserts the only position is his. Closes debate. Explains his spectacle. Illustrates how politics differs from business. Assigns us each our role. – (trump rhetoric politics globalcapitalism )
- A Parallax Reading of Roethke’s “My Papa’s Waltz” | samplereality – Bringing close reading into focus. Method! – (modernism litcrit DH )
constant nieuwenhuy’s new babylon concert hall for electronic music 1958 1961, from atlasobscura.com
GILLES IVAIN makes a call for a new architecture.
We are bored in the city, to still discover mysteries on the signs along the street, latest state of humor and poetry, requires getting damned tired….
We will not prolong mechanical civilizations and the architecture froide that ultimately lead to boring forms of leisure.
We propose to invent new, changeable decors….
Architecture is the simplest means to articulate time and space, to modulate reality, to engender dreams. It is not only a matter of plastic articulation and modulation—expression of an ephemeral beauty—but of a modulation producing influences, in accordance with the eternal spectrum of human desires and of progress in the realization of these desires. The architecture of tomorrow will thus be a means of modifying present conceptions of time and space. The architectural complex will be modifiable. Its aspect will change partially or totally in accordance with the will of its inhabitants. …
A new architecture can only be spoken of if it expresses a new civilization (it is clear that there has been neither civilization nor architecture for several centuries, but only experiments, the majority of which have failed: one can speak of Gothic architecture, but Marxist or capitalist architecture does not exist, although these two systems show similar tendencies and common aims.)
This new vision of time and space that will be the theoretical basis of future constructions, is not in the right state and will never wholly be so before testing comportments in cities set aside for this effect, cities in which will be systematically assembled—in addition to the organizations necessary for a minimum of comfort and security—buildings charged with a great power of evocation and influence, symbolic edifices representing desires, forces, events past, present, and to come….
In a way everyone will live in his own personal “cathedral.” There will be rooms more conducive to dreams than drugs, and houses where one cannot help but love….
The quarters of this city could correspond to the catalog of diverse feelings that are encountered by chance in daily life….
The principal activity of the inhabitants will be CONTINUOUS DÉRIVE. The changing of landscape from one hour to the next will result in complete disorientation.
This first experimental city would live largely off a tolerated and controlled tourism. Future avant-garde activities and productions would gravitate there of their own accord. In a few years it would become the intellectual capital of the world, and would be universally recognized as such.
FORMULARY FOR A NEW URBANISM. GILLES IVAIN (PSEUDO. IVAN CHTCHEGLOV) From Situationists and the city. pp 32-41.